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While We’re Waiting… The Bash Brothers was a great poster

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While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Great read on the iconic sports posters of the ’80′s- “The posters were not only distinctive because of their originality – marrying pop culture and sports during an era of affluence when athletes were marketed as icons – many of them also projected a nuanced yet important image of athletes not as caricatures, but as men worthy of superhero status. That aspect had particular resonance among black athletes who had rarely been promoted in such a positive way.

Working out of their father’s garage in downtown Seattle with a small group of childhood friends, the Costacos soon maxed out their credit line to create a business that captured the biggest sports stars of their era in a way that had never been done before. They convinced the athletes to pose for photographers in get-ups that were at once playful and positive, creating lasting and captivating images. They called Giants’ slugger Kevin Mitchell “Bat Man” and dressed him in a cape; running back Herschel Walker was “The H-Bomb,” exploding out of a sea of fire.” [Nelson/SBNation]

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“I’ll admit, this was my mindset most of my life. I could not step outside of the moment of competition. The moment was all that there was. It is with this mindset that I that I watched the Cavaliers, for the past twelve years. Every analysis of every game, every moment of viewing till the last two years was an exercise in testosterone manipulation: winning good: losing bad. This ethos pervades American thought. One thing that I’ll always be strangely grateful to LeBron James is that in the wake of LeBrocalypse, I began to realize that yes, there was more to life than winning. I mean I knew that consciously, or rather, I was aware of the idea, but I didn’t really believe it. The obsession with winning and losing and being perceived as a winner or a loser is definitely some paleo thinking. It’s hard wired into our brains, but as enlightened beings, I think that we must somehow find a way to transcend that.

We’ve been able to do that to a certain extent with this Cavs team. One thing that will cure the need to win day to day would be watching a young basketball team that is still learning how to play hard consistently. The riddle of what must take the place of winning in day to day existence is something that I’ve coped with, personally, and we as teams have coped with since it became obvious that the Cavs weren’t going to be winning very often. The question is, how do we get there, and how do we live our lives as fans, athletes, coaches, and individuals once we do realize that there must be more than winning? The way we judge ourselves on a day to day basis must be something more sane and less haphazard than on whether a ball goes in or out of a basket more often than it does for someone else.” [Smith/Cavs the Blog]

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“The bottom line is that the Cavs are a dreadful defensive team. They’re a pretty bad offensive team as well, but the assumed develop of Dion Waiters and Tristan Thompson (along with Kyrie Irving) ought to give them a boost. Defensively, Nerlens Noel could be an absolute game-changer. He shuts down the paint and as you can see in that clip of Kentucky vs. Ole Miss, he has the ability to dominate a basketball game without scoring a single point.

There are plenty of nice prospects in the upcoming draft. Ben McLemore is dynamic and Alex Len could be the next Zydrunas Ilgauskas. But it’s likely that nobody will have the upside or the immediate impact of Nerlens Noel. If the Cavs are drafting first overall, Nerlens is the guy.” [Kaczmarek/Fear the Sword]

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Can Jimenez and Masterson rebound- “Combining the two positive factors (28 or younger AND at least one good previous season), there are fourteen players. Seven of them later had another good year. Looking at it that way, the subgroup that holds Masterson and Jimenez (and Lincecum and Romero) would seem to have a 50/50 shot at ever recovering for another strong season.

There are plenty of caveats to this, of course: This is a small sample of players, too small to be considered scientific. ERA+ is far from the most complete way of assessing players’ seasons. ERA+ cut-offs of 80 for selecting poor seasons and 110 for good seasons are somewhat arbitrary. Age and prior success are also not the only ways to create subgroups within the sample. That said, I think this study gives us some sense of what might be expected of Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez going forward. I think most Tribe fans would be happy to have just one of the two put together another strong season.” [Lukehart/Let's Go Tribe]

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“But the second option is just as dicey. Former Browns general manager Tom Heckert (the guy that Banner said made the team better than it was, but who had to go so the Browns could hire Mike Lombardi) left the Browns a lovely parting gift when he was shown the door – more than $45 million in cap space. That pile of cash would allow Banner to conceivably put together an offer for Flacco that would be very, very difficult for the Ravens to match.

In addition to the salary, it would cost the Browns two No. 1 draft picks if they signed Flacco away from Baltimore. So while the Browns would be getting a clear upgrade at the quarterback position, they would also be handing a division rival two first-round picks that, deep down in their hearts, Browns fans know Newsome will turn into gold in the draft.” [Moore/Red Right 88]

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  • Vindictive_Pat

    Mechanics.

  • Steve

    Well then we can can’t compare anyone then, because there will always be some differences.

    Drummond is a comparison if you want to understand how hard it is for an 18 year old big man and want to show how much legitimate PG play can affect what a big man looks like offensively.

  • mgbode

    there’s always some difference but I don’t see why it’s worth discussing players who play absolutely differently. Noels won’t be able to use a combination of athleticism and girth in the lane like Drummond has been able to do because he’s missing the girth.

    he could turn out better but he’s not the same type of player other than possible position.

  • Steve

    So you want to value shooting mechanics over athleticism and actually putting the ball in the hoop? I don’t think I need to explain that the NBA is more than trending towards requiring the latter.

  • mgbode

    agreed but I thought we were talking about Noels. he doesn’t know how to get those easy baskets yet. he very well could learn, but he isn’t anywhere near there.

  • Steve

    Because we’re not really discussing how they play as much as the other factors around them that affect how we are able to view them?

  • Steve

    He’s exceptionally quick, can handle the ball well, and can finish at the rim as well as anyone in college. It’s his athleticism, but he’s creating easy baskets.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Steve… you’re getting off course. You are asking how you can project that Zeller will score and Noel will not. Nothing else, not rebounding or defense or athleticism all of which are Noel’s obvious best traits. The answer is, he has a soft touch on his hook and fade aways in the post and he has a jump shot with good mechanics. Noel has none of these, which is why I don’t project him to be able to be more than a guy who can run the floor and hit put-backs in the NBA. Can he make a good living doing that? He sure can… but since that’s what I’m thinking when I see him, I don’t see enough to be a #1 from that.

    Also, if you’re going to bring up that Zeller couldn’t start when he was a freshman, let’s remember that he sat behind national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough, he wasn’t filling a spot vacated by a #1 overall pick. Zeller was a McDonald’s All-American and could have started on just about any other top tier team. With that said, I continue to agree that Zeller never had enough athleticism to be a #1 pick in the NBA draft.

  • mgbode

    you need both. it’s one of the reasons that Bradley Beal stood out last year. he had the shooting mechanics and also the athleticism in college. so, despite not being a great 3pt shooter in college, many projected him to be a good one in the NBA eventually anyway (36%3pt on the season so far):

    he struggled w/o Wall early in the year while also adjusting to the NBA, but he’s been phenomenal since the calendar year turned as a rookie SG (15 games):

    45%FG 51%3pt 33min/game: 15pts, 3rb, 1stl, 2:1 ast:to

  • Steve

    So we can’t use Drummond, but we can use Beal?

    I’ll agree that shooting mechanics is absolutely essential for a floor-spacing SG. For a big man in today’s NBA? We’re moving away from that.

  • mgbode

    he can pass the ball well, but he does not have a good handle (that is dribbling). yes, he is a ferocious finisher.

  • mgbode

    that’s a strange discussion to try to have then. if we are talking about taking someone #1 overall in the draft, then i would rather figure out who they might be when we have them (which is what I was doing).

    For Noels:

    worst case: Biyombo (not much chance he’s this bad)

    likely floor: Larry Sanders/Chris Anderson/Kenneth Faried (useful player that helps a defense a bunch and cleans up the glass on both ends)

    most likely case: Ibaka/Andy Varejao (a good enough offensive player that truly helps on the defensive end)

    if he fulfills every hope, gains a bunch of muscle mass, and everything goes right: Dwight Howard (less likely than the Biyombo one)

  • mgbode

    different discussions. if the question is “how can we show mechanics is projectable” then Beal is a possible answer. has nothing to do with the type of player or position.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Are we? Look at your All-Stars… Dwight, Chandler, and Noah fit your point (although Noah’s offensive game has progressed nicely). Lopez, Duncan, and Bosh are skilled offensive players (Bosh is playing center this year for Miami), as are David Lee and LaMarcus Aldridge (both split time between center and PF).

  • mgbode

    *cough*Kevin Love*cough*

  • Steve

    After watching Thompson drop more than a couple easy passes his rookie year, I would hope a Cavs fans realizes that handling the ball for a big man is more than just dribbling.

  • Steve

    Agree with almost all of this. I also don’t see how these project lower than anyone else we could take at the top.

    Worst case – solid player, best case – superstar, with borderline all-star as the likely case seems like a pretty normal solid pick at #1 in non-Lebron/Dwight years.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I left him off because I thought he was a true PF and not a C/PF hybrid which (I think) is how Noel projects? There are plenty of other all-star and high level forwards to include who are more skilled offensively: Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol, Anthony Davis, Pekovic, Boozer, Hibbert, West, Sullinger, Andy V, Gortat, and so on.

  • Steve

    A lot of those guys weren’t skilled, by your definition, offensive players at 18, which gets back to one of my main points. And they all have a lot more than shooting mechanics.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    I haven’t done the research, but I’m willing to bet they were.

  • Steve

    Sure, but that falls closer to the “how we are able to view them” that I was discussing upthread.

  • Steve

    We can repeat the same points to each other over and over again I guess. I get that you think Zeller’s game is pretty, and want to gloss over the results. I still think you’re criminally underselling a guy who can get easy points. And you might be the first person I’ve ever met who doesn’t get wild and crazy thoughts when projecting an 18 year old highly-athletic big man.

    Sure Zeller might have started on any other team, but that’s because he’s 7′ tall. And he did sit behind a couple future NBA big men (Ed Davis has really surprised me btw). But you won’t be able to convince me that even Roy Williams would have held Noel to sub 20 min seasons two straight years.

  • mgbode

    if you agree with most of that, then the point we are disagreeing on is if the most likely case “type of player” is worth taking #1 overall with guys like Shabazz and McLemore available. either that or you think his odds of getting to his best case is better than I do.

  • mgbode

    “handle” and “passing” (which usually does include catching) are separate categories on the scouting reports. that’s all. just trying to refine the conversation a bit there.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Yeah we are definitely arguing the same points… in the end, it’s one man’s opinion versus the other and I guess we’ll just have to see who is right.

    As for your second point, remember that Zeller fought injuries his first two years, which was a big reason for his limited minutes. His breakout junior year was his first fully healthy season.

  • Steve

    Ok fine, I’ll clarify, he has soft hands, and can catch and pass the ball well.

  • mgbode

    yeah, I got that from your follow-up. thanks though.

  • cmm13

    So let me ask you this…
    1. How many draft picks since 1999 have we spent looking for a franchise QB, hoping one of out college works?
    2. Isn’t it worth 2 more to not only hope you got the guy, but KNOW you got a franchise QB who can win a super bowl?

  • mgbode

    yeah, it’s taken alot for them to be where they are and they still have a chance to make it:

    1. Kobe going behind the scenes to replace Mike Brown early in the year (supposedly)
    2. Hiring D’Antoni instead of Phil Jackson
    3. Steve Nash having his numbers/health fall off a cliff w/o the Phoenix medical staff.
    4. Dwight Howard not being fully recovered from his back injury.
    5. Dwight & Pau not finding a way to co-exist on the court. Defense falling apart (especially transition) anytime they are on the court together.
    6. Pau pouting that D’Antoni picked Dwight over him.

    And now Pau/Dwight might both miss more time with injuries. This is what happens when teams need to do well in order to benefit a Cleveland team*. Just look at Miami, the better they do, the worse our pick from them, so they are just fine. A lesson learned for the Lakers.

    *does not apply if the team is owned by Donald Sterling because David Stern will step in just to mess with him.

  • dwhit110

    First rounders? Unless I’m forgetting someone (and given the carousel, hey! it’s possible!), that’s 3 picks in 14 years with Couch, Quinn, and Weeden. You’d be giving away two in two.

    That said, you’d be crippling the Ravens, and I’m not necessarily saying “don’t do it”, but Pat asked about the downside, and there you have it.

  • cmm13

    That’s first round draft picks but add in the second and third rounders (where NFL talent does exist) and we add Two more with Frye and McCoy.

    That’s 5 draft picks we’ve spent hoping to find a QB.

    I’ll gladly give up two more to KNOW we have a franchise QB.

    Is it still two first round picks, yes.
    Could we miss out on some great talent to fill additional holes, yes.
    So I get your downside, I just think the upside outweighs that.

  • dwhit110

    Sure, we’ve taken Frye and McCoy in the 3rd round, but it’s not 3rd rounders that we’d be giving up to get a franchised player, it’s 1st rounders, so that apples to apples view is why I focused on them.

    I get your point though, you’re saying this would free us up to use our 3rd rounders on things other than project QBs.